I’m interested in seeing if anybody has input on this. My son uses his binoculars religiously at this point, and has some clip-on lenses he also loves to use. As it gets colder here (it always sneaks up on me), I don’t want him handling his gear without gloves. He has some pretty severe sensory problems so something thin would probably be best for him, but also warm obviously. I’m envisioning the glove equivalent of like lightweight fleece hiking pants, that kind of thing. And he would need ones that allow him to interact with a screen. I know that being able to move swiftly and using his hands as he normally would is going to be important to him. The frustration sets in pretty quick when his process is interrupted.
If it were up to him, he wouldn’t wear gloves at all, but I really would like him to, so I’m open to trying anything. But if anybody has experience with gloves that meet the listed criteria or have an established preference already, I’d really appreciate hearing about it!
After trying a lot of combinations, I finally came up with my own system that works quite well for me. I wear tight leather driving gloves with good touch screen fingers. And I keep rechargeable hand warmers in my coat pockets. That gives me good control over my camera and phone and decent protection against the wind and snow. But any time I’m not actually taking a photo or using my phone, my hands are in my pocket staying warm and toasty.
With this system, I have walked for hours, taking 100s of photos, at 0F temperatures with no frozen fingers.
Depending on how cold it gets where you are, liner gloves might work pretty well. Last winter I invested in 2-3 pairs (depending on how you count) of touchscreen-capable gloves, and I’ve been happy with all of them, although I did not test them to the max last winter. (I’m in New York.)
One pair I got were Smartwool liner gloves. In terms of warmth, these are basically the fancy version of the thin knit gloves you get at a convenience store. They’re fine for fall or if your hands are in your pockets, but I would not use them as a primary winter glove for winter hikes. On the plus side, they are thin, don’t have weird seams, and I can type on a touchscreen with them.
The other 1-2 pairs I got were a pair of Gordini motive gloves that came with their own set of liner gloves. The outer pair are big but are very good for cold, have handwarmer pockets, etc. They’re touchscreen-capable, but I can only really unlock my phone and hit big icons (the “take photo” button on the camera app, etc.) with them. They also have wrist leashes so you can quickly take them off for finer work wearing the liner gloves. I use these more than I use the outer gloves. They are waterproof and highly textured and work well with a touchscreen. However, they are made of a bunch of different pieces sewn together, so the seams might be annoying.
Goody! I’m better at outdoor gear recommendations than taxa IDs!
I live in Wyoming and get a lot of use out of my trailheads mittens. They are fairly lightweight, so you can maintain dexterity. You can flip off the mitten cover to use a screen (and the top of the thumb). They aren’t my choice for -20F walks to work, but you’re probably not just hanging out in -20F anyway.
Hi there, I also have sensory issues and live in an area with pretty bad winters. I personally have not found anything that works with my particular sensory issues. I still have a few pairs of fingerless gloves, some of them have the mitten attachment as shown in an above comment, but I have come to realize that I cannot stand the feeling of anything on the palms of my hands, and the fingers aren’t the problem. So I suppose it would depend on what your son’s sensory issues are, on whether fingerless gloves would work for him or not. But I can say that they definitely work for using touch screens on phones, as do the thin “liner” gloves that others were talking about.
I definitely second using those little handwarmers in your pockets! Sometimes having a nice coat with fleece or other warm-lined pockets and handwarmers is enough, as long as you aren’t out for too too long. I have gone on multiple hikes in the winter without gloves, just keeping my hands in my pockets when not taking photos, and was pretty warm that way. But of course it does depend on how much you take your hands out whether or not it would be warm enough for your son.
Hope that your son can find a good solution and continue to enjoy the things he loves!
I regularly hang out in -20 degree weather (or even lower). I agree that the “glittens” aren’t necessarily ideal for temperatures that low. However, they are still far warmer than normal gloves would be at those temperatures, so I think that’s good enough (and if you want to use a screen in that kind of weather you’ll just have to get used to your fingers being cold).
I like these names and also like the idea. It would be great for at least a transitional type of glove, or if he likes it enough and it works well, it can just be the gloves/glittens/moves he uses. Thanks!
I have issues with touching textile with fingertips, but for using anything with hands I never had anything more comfortable as regular male winter gloves, if it’s much lower than -20C maybe buynig thicker ones, but using your pockets as much as possible is easier.
As someone with sensory “issues”; probably getting a bunch of options that can be returned (if stores are overstimulating to shop in like they are for me) that come sized so they fit well, and see if he likes any of them. If the sensory issue is the lack of finger dexterity, or how they feel on the fingertips, something thin (maybe a cashmere or such) liner type glove, especially if fingerless, would be most appealing.
A lot of times my thermoregulation is also quite different than a NT’s, so leave space for that too. I grew up in Michigan and my brother never even wore a coat in middle of winter, never suffered for it either, much to my mother’s dismay xD
But there are other options to warm hands that do not require gloves. This may be a better idea, if all gloves are not ok. Sensory differences may seem “dumb” to some folk, but the mental anguish they cause for the individual is nothing to scoff at. So perhaps an idea is rather than to cause a fight over gloves, provide an alternative: a way to warm up hands without use of gloves. Handwarmers in pockets come to mind, but honestly these work way better: rechargable hand warmers This particular one I linked is of excellent quality and as someone who has Raynaud’s as well, a lifesaver! It’s a popular one in the community (ease, quality, nice and warm on variable levels for great lengths of time) and is the exact model I would recommend. Other models do not have variable levels or do not last near as long (note the 7800 mAh when most models are only 1000!) Perhaps this would be enough to ease concerns :)
My son actually used to wear a pair of gloves all the time because of his sensory issues with touching things, but once he stopped wearing those, he never really liked any type of glove after that. Once he’s used to doing something a certain way, he has a difficult time adjusting to a different way, and he’s never used gloves with his binoculars yet, so I’m thinking that a pair that make things really easy will be the easiest for him to adjust to. He’s not aggressively opposed to wearing them or anything, but he’s voiced concern about not being able to go as fast as he is used to going. He doesn’t want his hands to be cold either. I have sensory issues too, different ones, but I definitely understand the struggle he has, and he is open about it, which helps make it easier to manage.
I ordered 2 different pairs today and am going to go from there. It’s not that cold in Utah yet so there is time to figure it all out.
so glad to hear that :)
sorry if I came off a bit strong, I deal with people a lot who completely ignore needs of ND folk lol
I get it, i used to only be able to wear cotton shirts, now a lot of cotton literally rubs me the wrong way. I hate how sensory things change over time >_<
ETA: just had another idea - a thicker nitrile glove? Like a 3 or 4m? they really do make a wind and vapor barrier and are extremely form fitting, and can use things fine through them (smartphones etc) and they are grippy.
I have a similar sensory issue to him, which is that I can’t drive in shoes with thick soles. I feel like I am not close enough to the pedals. That’s the closest thing I have been able to relate to what his conflict is with the gloves while doing things. Gardening is a good example because he loves to garden, but will not wear gloves because he says he feels like he isn’t actually making contact with what he’s doing so he struggles with gauging things. And that’s how I am in boots while I drive.
I think it might just be something where if I can find a texture that he likes, he will transition smoothly into using them. He hasn’t given it a try yet so maybe it won’t be a difficult thing for him at all, he’s just made it clear that he’s worried about it going poorly. But he wants his hands to be warm and dry, too, so we gotta start somewhere!
This is definitely what I am using to fall back on. If none of the gloves end up cutting it for him, he would definitely be okay with using hand warmers. He likes to have his hands out a lot, so gloves would be ideal, but life isn’t always ideal. And that’s fine!
I personally don’t wear gloves when out observing, but I have some very thin glove liners that I’d think may be good in relation to your son’s sensory problems. I’d recommend a trip to your local motorbike accessories store to see what they have. Bikers often wear gloves under gloves.
This might or might not help/work. I don’t have sensory issues–but I have arthritis. So unless it’s super cold, I wear compression gloves which leave the fingertips free. There are two “varieties” one which is very lightweight and tend to have some kind of copper dots or threads. They are good for summer. The other is a heavier compression glove that I wear in the winter. Again, they don’t cover the fingertips. In fact, I get this bizarre tan every summer where just my fingertips are tanned and the rest of my hand is white so it looks like I have dirty fingers…
Anyway, the heavier ones are all I use in the winter unless it’s super cold. Then what I do is get what they call “pop-top” mittens and I actually wear my compression gloves under the mittens. The mittens are basically configured like my compression gloves, i.e. gloves with no fingertips but there is an additional “mitten top” that fits over my fingertips to make a complete mitten when I’m not actively using my binoculars/camera. I have one pair that are wool with thinsulate linings that work really well for me over my compression gloves when I’m out on cold winter nights with my telescope.
Someone else mentioned the pop-top mittens and even had a picture of them.
But you might want to look into the compression gloves as well as they do help keep the joints warm while leaving the fingertips free. I have never had any luck with gloves intended for use with touchscreens. They make my fingers too clumsy and I never can do what I need to do so I always take them off in the end. I much prefer a bare fingertip because especially with my camera, I can feel the controls more accurately and do what I need to do. I just can’t do that with any gloves whether they are supposed to work with touchscreen or not.
This sounds just like my son! I ordered a liner one and then one that has the fingers free underneath the flap/ a pop-top. I think he will probably be able to adjust to either or maybe he will like another alternative. I’m trying to sort it out ahead of time!